Mike Babcock Pushes Again Teaching Controversy, Says “Odor Take a look at Does not Match”

It’s been a little over 15 months since Mike Babcock last stepped behind an NHL bench. The Maple Leafs fired him on November 20, 2019 after a six-game skid and just over four seasons with the club.

Not long after his release, it was revealed that in 2017 Babcock asked Leafs striker Mitch Marner to rate his assessment of his teammates’ work ethic. Babcock revealed the list to the team. He told Sportnets Elliotte Friedman in 2019 that he apologized back then.

But then more came out.

Mike Commodore and Mark Fraser took to social media to comment on their issues with his coaching tactics and the treatment of players. Then the Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios revealed on Spittin ‘Chiclets that Babcock verbally assaulted former Johan Franzen. The former striker told a Swedish publication that Babcock was “the worst person I have ever met. A tyrant”.

Babcock has moved back into the spotlight after a while in the past few months. He worked with the University of Vermont men’s hockey team. He joined NBC part-time as a studio analyst. He spoke to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun on a number of topics. Most recently, he was hired as the head coach of the men’s hockey team at the University of Saskatchewan.

On Wednesday, before the Flames played Babcock’s last team, the Maple Leafs, Sportsnet broadcast a seated interview led by Christine Simpson. While Babcock may have tried to clear the air, he instead came out defensive and sometimes didn’t really take responsibility for what was going on.

“What happened was, I was in a tree stand and was hunting on my farm in Ohio. I get this thing and I said, ‘Yeah, I apologize for that.’ But I didn’t know the story was wrong, “said Babcock when asked about the Marner incident. “Mitch was at a time when things weren’t going all that well. He was in my office and I said, ‘Get on my work ethic list.’ And he did. And there was nothing wrong with our conversation. Mitch Marner played great for Mike Babcock. I can’t complain one bit, it was amazing.

“So what happened next is that I was brought in and I think it was Bozy [Tyler Bozak]but I left the Mitch Marner thing on the table. And then I referred to it and when I did, I knew I had done the wrong thing.

“I went out after talking to Bozy and said to Mitch, ‘I did that. I screwed you. I had no intention of doing it. Do you want me to fix it in front of the team?” exactly there?’ And I shouldn’t have asked him that, I should have just done it.

“Was it wrong? Yes. Was it my fault? One hundred percent. Do I own this? Yes, but if you think it’s a tactic to tarnish a guy or something, that’s the craziest thing ever. We try these To make player into player. ” The best we could. Our intention is always good. Do we sometimes do something wrong? One hundred percent. “

Simpson then pressed him on what Franzen was saying.

“I thought we were having a really good relationship,” replied Babcock. “Well, didn’t things go that well sometimes? Absolutely. Have I ever tried to bully someone? This is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of.

“Now I didn’t even know what mental health was,” he said, which is interesting for someone who graduated from McGill University with a degree in exercise psychology. “Whenever someone feels, whether they work for you, whether you are in a relationship with them – you are wrong. You never want to cross the line, and when you do you want to own it. And when you do, you want to have it. She should have it. But if you haven’t, you shouldn’t have this either. “

Babcock said he reached out to Franzen but the now-former NHLer didn’t come back to him.

“I trained for 34 years. Let’s go 20 guys. Let’s do the math. Lots of players,” he said. “I’ve coached Olympic teams. I’ve switched goalkeepers. I’ve coached veteran teams in the Stanley Cup finals and scratched boys. They drove people crazy. That’s reality. You know, I’ve coached a lot of teams.” and had a lot of success and good people hired me.

“I didn’t have a Zoom meeting with Brian Murray before I went to Anaheim. I went to Detroit. Jimmy Nill was my GM at the 2004 World Cup. They hired me. Steve Yzerman played for me and worked with me for four years, and he hired me for two Olympics. Brendan Shanahan hired me after he played for me. Some of it doesn’t match the smell test. “

He then went to Sportsnet for the interview when asked if he denies the stories.

“Oh yeah, but me too, let’s get this straight because you know how to edit this stuff. I’ve tried my best to treat people right. I still do. You can’t have a family, and the opportunities I’ve had without treating people well. Have I ever crossed the line? Absolutely. When I say if you’re getting into mental health, that’s a whole different program that situation be. So if you’ve crossed the line, you have to own that. “

It doesn’t sound like Babcock owns it.

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